“Crazy thought experiment: Imagine a new type of company that decided to only do what it was really good at and essentially outsourced everything else.”
Because revenues of private companies tend to be secret, most venture-backed companies have historically bragged about how many employees they have. A CEO will say: “we went from 100 to 200 employees last year” as if fast employee growth is always a good thing.
But this is changing: there is a new status game brewing between companies concerning who has the fewest number of employees, centered around who is engineering greater amounts output with less staff. Indeed, the freedom to iterate quickly is status. More resources along with lower headcount means that they can dominate new markets. This is because they are tripling down on their strengths.
In the future, those who achieve the greatest results with the least number of employees will be admired above all others; the key statistic to look at is the go-forward net revenues per employee because it best encompasses the company’s leverage. What matters is each employee’s productivity and how the business itself can scale?
This statistic doesn’t just ring true for the technology space, rather any business should be aiming to maximize that metric. By doing so, every employee feels and acts like Warren Buffet; they’re investing their capital (time and skill) into the company. Every good CEO should be spending time trying to increase their employees’ productivity, which is the strongest form of leverage the company retains.
Since publishing yesterday, I got a ton of inbound from other CEOs and founders talking about what they do and also asking about how we do things at SafeGraph. We still have a ways to go at SafeGraph to be great at Exit Transparency (it is very aspirational) but we have made a lot of strides to be better at it.
Exit Transparency is about starting employment with the end in mind. When the employee eventually leaves the company (as all employees eventually do), what do they want to achieve and how to they want to grow.